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OctoStudio Explorations

Materials to code with OctoStudio
Explorations
OctoStudio Explorations
OctoStudio Explorations

Join us in exploring different ways to combine code with everyday materials as tools for creative expression! The Tinkering Studio is a Key Collaborator with the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab, creators of a free coding application for mobile devices called OctoStudio. Learn more and download OctoStudio ➜ 

We're using this page to create a growing collection of ideas for tinkering with OctoStudio. Some of these are full-fledged projects; others are little sparks that we hope will ignite your own explorations for what's possible when you look creatively at code!

A kaleidoscope made with OctoStudio and mirrors
Play with Patterns

Dive into surprising ways to experiment with patterns, symmetry, and repetition. 

"Presiona Aqui" by Herve Tullet next to a project inspired by the book
Bring a Book to Life

Use stories, scenes, and characters as inspiration for your projects! 

A coded face project
Making Faces

Arrange materials to make portraits and animate them with code.

A project with a shark on top of a stack of shark magazines
Hack a Magazine

Hide coded surprises inside the pages of a magazine. 

An OctoStudio project with music
OctoJam Session

Create your own jam sessions and collaborative sound projects.

A workshop participant makes a frame for their creative coding project
Tinker with a View

Combine paper and cardboard frames with code to share a scene. 

A hand shadow transformed to look like a mouth eating a burrito
Shadow Remix

Share what you see in a shadow and add animation with code. 

A participant creates a ramp for a coded chain reaction project
Chain Reaction

Explore inputs, outputs, and making things move with OctoStudio. 

 

arrow made of twine

 

Play with Patterns

Play with patterns in shapes, sounds, and sprites! OctoStudio lets you easily duplicate characters and code, explore turning and movement, and import photos to the app. Consider taking your explorations outside to investigate patterns in plants and petals. More ideas for ways to Play with Patterns ➜

 

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A set of books to use as starting points for OctoStudio explorations

Bring a Book to Life

Start with a story! Books can serve as inspiring launching points for OctoStudio explorations. Look for books that have interesting shapes, patterns, and characters to bring to life with code. One of our favorite books to pair with OctoStudio is Press Here by Hervé Tullet — the perfect story to pair with a project that's activated by a tap! Download this starter project and remix it to make your own Press Here project. The book is available in many different languages, including Spanish and French. 

 

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Making Faces

Make portraits by arranging and rearranging everyday objects to share something about yourself or someone you care about. Start with the analog version of Making Faces, then use OctoStudio to add movement, tell stories, and bring in meaningful or imaginary objects beyond the materials in front of you. More ideas for Making Faces ➜ 

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Hack a Magazine

What treasures, stories, and surprises are hiding in the pages of magazines? Take a magazine and combine it with OctoStudio to create something magical. Embed your device inside a magazine to bring static pages to life. 
More ideas for how to Hack a Magazine ➜ 

 

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OctoJam Session

Combining code with sound explorations? That’s music to our ears! Record your own sounds within the app and build instruments that take advantage of OctoStudio’s inputs, like shake or tilt. Combine your coded sound-maker with friends or family to jam together. Learn about Luigi's process for coding his own Pandeiro and download his project to make your own remix! And check out this collaborative example to inspire your own OctoJam session.

 

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Tinker with a View

Use cardboard, code, and your imagination to share what you see! Create a frame and use the OctoStudio app to code an interactive scene or story that shares a window into your world. Use the on tap, on shake, and on tilt coding blocks to activate different elements of your scene. You might make a window frame and share what you see when you peek inside, or think about different kinds of views. Is your window a portal? A skylight? A porthole? 
More ideas for Tinker with a View ➜ 

 

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Shadow Remix

Share what you see in a shadow! In this exploration, create a shadow as a jumping off point and then use OctoStudio to bring it to life with code. Use sprites and the coding blocks to share what shapes and stories you see. You can even use the flashlight block to turn on your device’s flashlight and cast a shadow on command! 

Building on the analog version of Shadow Remix, code expands the opportunities for creative expression by making it possible to add movement, tell stories, and easily share shadows with friends, classmates, or family members. More ideas for Shadow Remix ➜ 

 

Chain Reaction  

Explore inputs and outputs to create a cause-and-effect contraption! Check out our Chain Reaction project page, and consider how code can take your machines even further. We’re still exploring what kinds of physical phone holders, sensors, and other components can support code + chain reaction explorations. 

In this example, the phone begins to vibrate when the play button is pressed. The vibration causes the phone to slide slowly down the ramp towards a magnetic sheet. Once the phone hits the magnet, it plays a recorded sound of clapping. The two claps trigger the clap light outlet, which turns on the fan and makes the jellyfish dance! 

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National Science Foundation Official Logo

 

This project is generously supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 2005764.